Hong Kong to cut 40% energy by 2025; What do you need to ask further?

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The Hong Kong government stated the plan to cut down 40 per cent of its city’s future energy by 2025, known as “Energy Saving plan for Hong Kong’s Built Environment 2015-2025+”. Considering the realistic possibility to achieve this goal, there are a few things needed to be further assessed.

Let’s take a closer look at this.

First thing to note is that the government’s intent was not to cut the amount of use of energy, but to cut energy intensity, which refers to the amount of energy consumed per unit of GDP.

Additionally, the reduction is to be compared to 2005 baseline, not today. There has already been a 25 per cent energy intensity cut since 2005 until now, leaving the only remaining 15 per cent to cut by 2025.

The city’s commercial buildings, being the biggest contributors of energy consumption in town, are being actively advised to understand undertake relevant initiatives towards achieving the goal set by the government.

Asking the right questions

If the carbon emission reduction is the real purposes of the Hong Kong’s government plan, then the commercial building owners, their business partners, and tenants need to ask the necessary questions with scrutiny.

  • The common reasons behind the excessive use of energy in Hong Kong tend to be associated with cost, business interruption, unclear ROI, conflicting advice, and lack of urgency. Instead of focusing on this, wouldn’t it better to seek ways to engage smart, young generation in a meaningful endeavour to help achieve the target? Isn’t it always about the visionary action by utilizing untapped potentials?
  • How fast should Hong Kong go? Is 15 per cent reduction over the next ten years a challenging enough target, whilst Tokyo is racing towards 17 per cent cut over only five years?
  • How could building owners seek effective ways of communications to express their willingness to contribute to the initiative, considering that the target’s interests are of all, not only of the government?
  • Could government practice what they preach? How can transparency be embraced and detailed direct and indirect costs of energy-saving initiatives be properly communicated?

 

The common sense here is if the actual purpose is carbon emission reduction, then commercial building owners should be aware of the importance to ask the right questions. They have the rights to have good understanding on why the whole plan has been couched towards energy intensity rather than energy consumption.

Global warming, theoretically, is acquired by only massive accumulation of the greenhouse gas emissions globally – hence intensity per dollar of GDP matters not at all.

 

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